The Dow Jones Industrial Average, also known as the Dow 30, is on a hot streak. After trailing the benchmark S&P 500 and tech-laden Nasdaq indices for most of 2023, the Dow has been leading in recent weeks, having gained 8% in November and hitting a new 52-week high. This is a good indication for the stock market as a whole, as the Dow contains 30 blue-chip stocks that are supposed to be emblematic of the entire market and the U.S. economy.
Analysts have taken the current rise in the Dow as a sign that the bull market is broadening out beyond a few tech stocks tied to artificial intelligence (AI). They believe this could portend good things for the American economy, especially if we manage to avoid falling into a recession, as has been widely predicted for more than a year. Here are the three best Dow stocks to buy in December.
The best-performing stock in the Dow 30 this year has been cloud computing giant Salesforce (NYSE:CRM). Its share price has gained nearly 90% this year and is streets ahead of most of the other components in the index. CRM stock got a nice 10% boost recently after the cloud-computing giant issued fiscal third-quarter financial results that handily beat Wall Street forecasts. The company reported earnings per share (EPS) of $2.11, well ahead of the $2.06 expected among analysts who cover the company.
Salesforce reported revenue in the quarter of $8.72 billion, up 11% from a year earlier and in line with analyst expectations. Remaining performance obligations, which measure work still to be performed within the next 12 months, stood at $23.9 billion, up 14% from a year ago. Regarding artificial intelligence (AI), Salesforce executives said the company is seeing early adoption of its new AI data-cloud offering. The company is also buying back $10 billion of its own stock currently.
It’s been a difficult few years for aircraft manufacturer Boeing (NYSE:BA) and its shareholders. However, BA stock has surged 24% since the start of November following a slate of good news for the company. Critical to the stock’s reversal were reports that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has cleared its 737 Max 10 aircraft to begin test flights. The clearance represents an important step forward for Boeing after the previous 737 Max jets were grounded following two deadly crashes.
The 737-10 is the largest aircraft in Boeing’s MAX series of single-aisle jets and a global bestseller for the company. Boeing had hoped to secure FAA certification for the 737-10 back in 2022, but that clearance was delayed, sending BA stock lower as a result. Now, Boeing executives confidently say they plan to have the 737-10 back in commercial service sometime in 2024. Boeing is one of only two commercial aircraft manufacturers in the entire world along with France’s Airbus SA (OTCMKTS:EADSY), forming a global duopoly.
BA stock is up 31% over the last 12 months, though its shares are trading 28% lower than where they were five years ago. Buy the dip.
Procter & Gamble (PG)
It hasn’t lit the world on fire this year, but consumer goods company and Dow member Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) is a good long-term stock to hold in a portfolio. So far this year, PG stock is largely flat. However, the stock has gained 59% over the past five years and 80% over the past decade. The company also pays its stockholders a healthy quarterly dividend of 94 cents a share for a yield of 2.47%. The maker of Tide laundry detergent and Gillette razor blades is also a good stock to own in an economic downturn.
Most recently, Procter & Gamble issued third-quarter financial results that beat Wall Street forecasts. The company reported EPS of $1.83 versus the $1.72 expected. Revenue totaled $21.87 billion compared to $21.58 billion experts anticipated. The company’s earnings have managed to stay buoyant as inflation has risen because it has pricing power. PG said its sales got a boost in the latest quarter from a 7% price increase for its products.
On the date of publication, Joel Baglole did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.